By Ronald Hanaki
East Stroudsburg University’s swimming team finished 9th out of 13 teams at the 2015 PSAC Swimming Championships this past weekend. The four-day event took place from February 19 to February 22 at the Graham Aquatic Center in York, PA. ESU has now finished in 9th place for the third year in a row.
In addition, the event raised $730.03 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation on behalf of ESU sophomore swimmer and former Make-A-Wish recipient Kelly Buyaskas. Buyaskas, who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, was at the championships and swam the 50 free time trial in 25.93 seconds on the second day of the event.
Two weeks prior to the championships, Buyaskas was suddenly hospitalized with the flu and also sustained a collapsed lung. However, she was granted a waiver enabling her to swim in the championships.
The Warriors were led by junior Ashleigh Podhayny. ESU’s Missy Franklin scored in four events and was single-handedly responsible for 29 points at the championships.
Podhayny set the tone for the Warriors on the first day by finishing 10th in the 200 IM (Individual Medley) with a time of 2:09:25. She was followed by freshman Kate Zimmerman, who finished in 16th place.
Freshman and Middlesex county, N.J. resident Colleen Dwyer represented and led ESU in the 200 medley relay by swimming the first leg of the 50 back in 28:03. That was a new school record for the Warriors.
On the second day, Podnayny finished 7th in the 400 IM. Her time of 4:35:18 was also a new school record.
Zimmerman finished the 400 IM in 16th place. Senior Mara Palazzari finished 16th in the 100 fly.
In the team relays, the Warriors finished 7th in the 200 free relay and 8th in the 400 medley relay.
The third day saw Kate Zimmerman and junior Sophie Coy pair up to lead ESU with 10th and 12th place finishes respectively in the 100 breast.
Zimmerman had now scored in three events in the first three days of the championships. Podhayny did the same by placing 13th in the 100 back.
The Warriors finished the 800 free relay in 8th place with a time of 7:56:62.
The fourth and final day saw Podhayny returning to the pool and scoring in her fourth event. She placed 11th in the 200 back.
Senior Jamie Kane and Sophie Coy finished in 10th and 14th places respectively in the 200 breast.
In total, ESU scored in eleven events. The Warriors finished in the top eight in all five relays. This was the Warriors’ best performance in the relays since 2001.
Overall, ESU’s 9th place finish is its best since finishing in 6th place in 2001 and 2002.
This was Ashleigh Podhayny’s rookie year swimming for ESU. Her banner season includes four new school records in the 100 back, 200 back, 200 IM, and 400 IM.
Perennial women’s swimming powerhouse West Chester won the PSAC championships for the ninth year in a row.
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